It’s officially the year of the pig in the Chinese Zodiac! Chinese New Year is a time for festivities, prayer and family reunion. See our top tips for a luxurious celebration below.
1 – Theme: traditionally decadent
You can definitely ally traditional elements to decadent luxury. Think paper lanterns, printed silks and lacquer, but embellished with jewels, beadwork, gold leaf, etc. When imagining a mind-blowing Chinese New Year party, my mind when straight to the Young family in Crazy Rich Asians and the aesthetics of their homes and personal style: excessive, yet elegant and refined.
2 – Red everywhere!
Symbolising good fortune, red is the absolute must-use colour for your party, from tablecloths to flowers. You can however break it up with other shades, such as creams, greens, pinks and blues. Black is an ideal accent colour, which will guarantee your brighter elements pop out even more.
3 – Metallics and mirrors
As a complement to your colour choices, I highly recommend adding metallic touches, and not just with cutlery/chopsticks. Think of adding metallic charger plates, foiled detailing, and even large jewelled brooches in guise of serviette rings. Mirrors are also a wonderful and often underestimated décor element, which add light, dimension and modernity.
4 – The importance of lighting
I’m a huge believer in the power of good lighting: it can truly change the look of an event. Ideally, dimmable or low lights would be the best, as they guarantee a cosy, subdued ambience. If you don’t have dimmers, why not focus on lanterns and candlelight? It can add a little extra mystery and magic to your celebration.
5 – Auspicious food
It wouldn’t be Chinese New Year without dumplings, spring rolls, fish and longevity noodles. As well as having a feast ready for your guests, why not include a dumpling or spring roll work shop? If you think that your guests would want to get stuck in, you can personalise red aprons for them, with their name in Chinese and a pig embroidery in honour of the new year. Or if your affair is more formal and you don’t want guests slapping you with dry-cleaning bills, turn the demonstration into a performance, accompanied by music and on an elevated stage.
6 – Allying traditional elements and child-friendly activities
Chinese New Year is all about spending time with family, so this is bound to include children. In order to keep them busy and entertained, think about including an area just for them, where they can decorate fans and paper lanterns. Depending on their ages, you can choose pencils, felt pens, paint, or even stick on items, such as crystals.
7 – Stationery
It wouldn’t be a party without themed stationery: invitations, menus and place cards are among the most important. Make sure that they are coherent and match your event, either through colour or overall design. You can also take elements of your party, such as your chosen floral arrangements and recreate them in watercolour garlands or blooms on paper. For a more graphic and decadent twist, opt for foiling, laser cutting or even pop up stationery. Also pay attention to the card/paper stock you choose: I’d recommend a heavier stock for a more luxurious feel, and like that you can have gilt edges.